Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, May 9, 2016

With spring practice in the books across the country, we continue to inch (slowly, mind you) closer toward the 2016 college football season.

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It's still three-plus months away, if you're wondering, but you wouldn't know it by the way-too-early top 25 polls, which actually started to come out immediately following the national championship game.

Anyway,'s Stewart Mandel released his early top 25 Monday, and it includes four Big Ten teams.

Check out where Mandel places the Big Ten and get one sentence of his analysis below.

5. Michigan – Jim Harbaugh's second team seemingly fits the mold for his preferred style of play, with a veteran offensive line, proven running backs like De'Veon Smith and an All-America caliber tight end, Jake Butt.


9. Ohio State – Ohio State may experience growing pains early before turning it on late.


15. Michigan State – Mark Dantonio's program has reached the point where it should not slip drastically.


24. Iowa – This may seem like a steep drop for a team that went 12-2 last season, but power ratings suggest was closer to 25th than fifth last season.

View Mandel's full top 25.


About what Big Ten fans should expect here. These seem to be the conference's top four teams, based on what happened last year and returning personnel.

A couple other things:

  • Three of the four teams are from the Big Ten East, with Iowa the only West representative.
  • We're used to seeing Wisconsin on these annual way-too-early polls, but the Badgers face one of the nation's most grueling schedules, starting with LSU in the season opener. It doesn't get much easier from there. Seriously. Check it out here.